A New Lease on Life
Waking Up to the Miracle of Being Alive
I recently learned from a close friend that a cherished friend of hers had received inaccurate news about her health. While I don’t know all the details, I do know that she originally had been diagnosed with a stage four horrible. Additional tests revealed nothing close to that initial analysis. We are all celebrating her new lease on life, this chance for her to experience being alive with greater appreciation and joy.
It reminds me of the iconic characters in these two films of transformation: Ebenezer Scrooge in ”A Christmas Carol” and George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Both characters experience this shift in perspective and in living. In the former, he’s visited by the ghosts of his former partner, and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. These visits allow him to see the negative impacts of his limited beliefs, words, and actions among other awakenings. And at the same time he experiences his heart thawing and opening to tenderness, appreciation, generosity, and joy. In the second film, an angel, Clarence, takes George on a journey of a “life without George Bailey even existing.” Mr. Bailey seriously thought about taking his own life. The trip through this alternate reality allowed him to see that his words and choices, his being alive, had positively impacted the lives of many people.
What does it take to wake up intentionally to the miracle of being alive when life comes with heartache, betrayals, natural disasters, scary diagnoses, and grumpy bosses? How do we return ourselves to clear-heartedness, gratitude, compassion, and love no matter what? Can we remain present and relatively “centered” from the inside to the outside rather than take ourselves on an intense ride of swirling thoughts and emotions?
Well, maybe you don’t take yourself on roller coaster rides of thoughts and feelings, but I often have and occasionally still do. It leaves me exhausted, breathless, with curled toes inside my shoes, and pursued lips. Daily meditation and more moments of an embodied quiet presence from the inside out sets a foundation for dynamic centeredness no matter what’s happening in my life. It helps that lately I’ve experienced much softer unexpected lobed balls and I notice a greater capacity to see them coming and can respond. And I take nothing for granted from the outside world and live with an overflowing gratitude from the inside. I celebrate living in what seems like the Bonus Round of Life, even in moments of feeling and breathing through anxiety. Allowing goodness, appreciation, and compassion to flow in and then back out again becomes it’s own reverent practice.
If you happen to be gripped by stress, fears, shame or anger from the past, present, or an uncertain future, I believe you have the courage to loosen this clutching. You can gently soften and kiss those clenched hands. Grateful to create, to share, to speak, to dance, to cry and laugh, you can be free. You can say “YES!” to actions aligned with your latest life-giving desires, relinquish the attachment to results, and open fully to what the next love-inspired deed can be. Like George, Ebenezer, and my friend’s friend, you can know how precious your life actually is. You can wake up each day to the miracle of being alive, run in the snow, dance in the streets, and bless all experiences.
Do you know you matter? Do you know the positive difference your life makes? Do you know how many lives you’ve touched and uplifted? Can you release the cloak of invisibility or the shroud of shame you believe you wear that doesn’t even exist and put on a Super Hero Cape of Empowerment? You are here. You matter. Your life remains a precious gift that only you can open with your beautiful hands one ribbon at a time or in a flourish, a whirlwind of joy. No outside circumstance can alter your gorgeous soul, the magnificence of your beating heart, and the treasure that is you. You are bigger than anything that’s ever happened to you, that you’ve done, or anything that might happen. You can look beyond the challenges and celebrate the wholehearted and courageous life you actually live.